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Pacific Theatre, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 369

Essay

It was on the 7th December 1941 that the world witnessed a day of infamy when the Empire of Japan committed a daring and ruthless surprise attack on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. The attack came without any formal declaration of war. At the same time the Japanese attacked US military bases in the Philippines and carried out an incursion into the British Malaya peninsula. This ultimately resulted in the surrender of the Garrison of Singapore on 15th February 1942. At the time Britain was struggling with its war against Germany in Europe and would not release troops to that theatre of operation. This left the Australians feeling abandoned and they turned to the USA for help.  The illustration to the right shows “Douglas Dauntless SBD dive-bombers have just launched a successful attack on the Japanese flagship aircraft carrier Akagi” (Bowen, 2002)

The defining turn of the war in the Pacific was the Battle of Midway Island where the US Navy imposed a crushing defeat on the Japanese imperial fleet.  “The Battle of Midway effectively destroyed Japan’s naval strength when the Americans destroyed four of its aircraft carriers.”  (Trueman, 2010)This despite a small fleet but the US demonstrated its superiority in Air power and as such the air supremacy eliminated the Japanese as a future threat to the base at Pearl Harbour in the Hawaiian Islands. On 20th July 1943 Admiral Nimitz was ordered by the joint Chiefs of Staff to invade and seize the Gilbert Islands. This paved the way for the many decisive battles that were to following including names like Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Leyte Gulf, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands etc. “Despite the catastrophic mistakes of leadership on both sides, and the violence of its battles, the Japanese-American war in the Pacific provided a foundation for stability that still exists today” (Rod, 2004).

Works Cited

Bowen, J. (2002, 5). Midway – the battle that turned the tide of the pacific war. Retrieved 11 9, 2010, from Pacific War: http://www.pacificwar.org.au/

Rod, R. (2004, 2). Eagle and the rising sun: The Japanese-American War 1941-43 Pearl Harbor Through Guadalcanal. Retrieved 11 10, 2010, from Bnet: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4442/is_200402/ai_n16059007/

Trueman, C. (2010). Battle of Midway. Retrieved 11 10, 2010, from History Learning Site: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/battle_of_midway.htm

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